Badgerdog World-Building Workshop

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The Brightest Star in the Sky

Her wings glittered in the moonlight; that’s what I remember best from the night we met.
She had recently moved to our district on an educational scholarship, bearing none of the signifying marks of glowing flyxin so common among the upper class. My parents told me that those without light are without worth, but her kind smile shone brighter than any crystal badge.

We both attended a study group every sixth day. For the past semester, we had mostly
been working on our group projects where we did a report on the life on a planet of our choosing, but we always made room for a calculus review before each test. She was in my project group so we always worked together, often interjecting our academic conversations with jokes or anecdotes. We often sat alone and exchanged brief, personal words afterward, but no more since we had to get home quickly before the sun rose. Whenever she gave me a final hug goodbye, my translucent wings fluttered slightly, and my heart did as well.

But, last time was different; she handed me a note, telling me to meet her on top of one of
the towering farm buildings that walled the outskirts of the city from the world outside. I vaguely mentioned my mother that I was going out to meet someone, knowing she would assume that I would be meeting with some nice rich boy like most other girls my age, before soaring out into the cool night.

I looked down at thousands of small lights; they came from sky-facing windows, jet-cars,
and each shard of flyxin, but none of them were the ones I was looking for, the most beautifulshine of all. Soon enough, I came to the roof of the sky-farm we had agreed upon and gently  landed, sitting next to the spot where she had waited for me.

I reached for one of her hands as she wrapped a few of her other arms around me. We
simply sat together; it was just her, me, and the sky. Her wings glittered in the moonlight.

Eva Schwarm
8th – 12th grade Workshop

 

Scrapper

Jax had a problem.

Warning lights illuminated the inside of the ship in a ghostly red and a speaker overhead reported yet another damaged system.

“Breach detected in sector 9, oxygen levels at 54%.”

Panic rushed through his body as he twisted around to examine the damage. Twisted chunks of metal and loose wires protruded from a rip in the metal hull, exposing the ship’s smoking innards. Jax fumbled with the toolbox at his waist and pulled out a roll of handy duct tape. As he tried to peel off a strip of tape with his gloves the system reported another update.

“Oxygen levels at 34%.”

With an alarmed grunt, Jax quickly stretched the duct tape over the gap, sealing it shut. Just to be safe, he wrapped another few layers of duct tape over it. Sticking his hands into another hole, he let his hands do the familiar habit of repairing The Kestrel, his ship. Finishing, he wrapped that hole in duct tape as well.

“Oxygen levels replenishing.”

Sighing with relief, Jax collapsed onto the floor.

Jax and his crew were scavengers, making a living off stripping old, abandoned ships for valuable parts. The area around the planet was bountiful with wrecked ships and floating debris and provided money for scavengers. However, competition was fierce, and recently they had earned little money. Jax’s job was to suit up and manually search and collect the parts, most of the time he liked the calm and quiet out in space, but there were much too many of those near-death experiences than he would have preferred. Just like now.

Another missile rocked the ship, making yet another huge flaming crater in the hull. Jax cursed beneath his breath. This was definitely not worth the scrap.

A few months ago, while searching the interior of a ship that had belonged to some space pirates, Jax had found a crumpled piece of paper that someone had hastily scribbled two words: “Reinforcements Needed” along with a set of coordinates. Jax had shown the strange note to Lux, a friend in the crew that he could trust with his life.

“I wonder what meaning those coordinates have,” Lux had said. They searched it up on their ship computer, but all it said was that it was a restricted area.

“Gee, I wonder why nobody enters the restricted area,” Jax thought now as laser blasts bombarded the Kestrel. The system listed out crucial warnings one after another, which didn’t improve the situation.

“Oxygen levels at 62%”

“Shields down”

“Weapons durability at 89%”

“Energy generator failing”

Jax watched as The Kestrel returned fire. It was pointless. They were fighting against, or more correctly, desperately trying to run away from a Federation Cruiser. Jax had no idea why a thing like that would be in a field of metal ship skeletons and drifting debris. iIt was three thousand tons of might, a warship designed to annihilate anything that got in its way. The laser cutter and the small blaster equipped on The Kestrel barely dented it’s shields. Jax could only look on helplessly as a nuclear warhead raced towards the ship and hit.

Blake Zhang
8th – 12th grade Workshop

Slam I Am: Badgerdog Slam Poetry Workshop

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My Russian Dolls

My first layer is painted yellow,
A bright yellow, like the vibrant petals of a sunflower.
My outer layer too is like a sunflower:
Unfurled and facing the Sun,
Tall, lanky, and climbing,
A bit frayed around the edges, with imperfect cuts.

My second layer is painted grey,
The kind you find in seafoam on the crests of surging waves.
Waves that worry the beach constantly,
Weathering the rocks,
Pinching the sand.
It comes from the vast sea of blues and greens,
Where the water runs for hundreds of miles, without
Breaking.

The Sea is vast, limitless, immortal.
It coats the globe as my sea coats my world,
I feel it’s strength and suffocation,
But I also feel it’s liquidity.

Another shell in and you find indigo,
A shade one might use to paint the
Midnight sky in the background of a
More lit, lively cityscape.
The color lays easily overlooked on the painting,
Partially covered by the more eye-catching,
Attention-grabbing,
Irritable oil paints
At the foreground of the artwork.

This rich color is melodic and gentle,
It’s voice rolls over you like a warm breeze on a
Cold fall night,
The temporary, timeless calm in
Prolonged moments of anxiety.

My final layer is green.
Green like the scent of fresh-cut grass.
Green like the edges of my mother’s eyes.
Green like the first buds of infant leaves in the spring.

This layer is the most powerful of all my shells.
It is solid, unlike the previous hollow ones.
It is the core of my existence,
Like the iron center of a burning star.

It is dense,
Dense like the canopies in the lush rainforest,
Dense like the thick volumes I read so greedily in my youth,
Dense like my biggest dreams, with their same weights of

Hope,
Longing,
and Love.

My past, present, and future
Are expressed in these hypnotic swirls of green.
Onlookers would see different shapes and edges
In my rounded doll,
As they would connect differently to my experiences.
This minuscule piece of my collection is special this way,
Iridescent to separate souls, and the
Eyes that enclose them.

This centerpiece is painted green,
The serene shade of life.
It is my core,
It is my heart,
And I will protect it with my life.
So if I should lose it,
As others have lost theirs,
I will lose myself as well;
And what is the point of living if I become someone unrecognizable?
What is life but the test of someone’s self-truth?

By Lyssa Lashus
7th – 12th grade Slam Poetry Workshop

 

Baptism

They bring you out of your self-condemned
Mind-prison that was
Filled with the distractions and worries of the world.

The droplets fall, small and light,
Veiling the upcoming streets and houses that you walk towards
In a translucent sheet of white,
Bringing shrouded mystery into the otherwise
Pleasant neighborhood.

Your skin is kissed by the water from Heaven,
And as the corners of your mouth are
Graced by the presence of these drops,
The corners of your mouth
Grace your face with a carefree smile,
The most genuine you’ve had in months.

The smell of rain alone brings a feeling of contentment,
You inhale and recognize the scent without hesitation or doubt,
It’s just one of those things in life that you know by heart;
Like the scent of freshly baked cookies or the salty ocean wind.
You can identify the unique earthiness of rain on a deeper level than sight.

The sound is magical as well,
The birds and insects quiet,
And the faster-falling raindrops baptize the Earth,
Momentarily cleansing the wake of humans in a rhythmic river of
Patters and pitters,
Like the bare-footed running of happy children.

Just as the water washes away pooling gasoline on the asphalt,
It washes the tension from your mind and thoughts,
Leaving you abnormally clear-headed and joyous.
“If the sky can run free, I can too.”

You slip your slick flip flops off and
Sprint down the asphalt with a spring in your step as the raindrops
Gain speed and size.
You’re headed home, in more ways than one.

Lyssa Lashus
7th – 12th grade Slam Poetry Workshop

 

Together

Our earth
A giant volcano,
Has erupted
Once again,
Perhaps the largest yet.

We came to face this disaster
As helpless
Like a vulnerable prey
In front of the vicious predator.

Our lives were forced to a “new normal”,
Hanging on to purell like crazy for every step we take.
Vocation was thrown behind centuries ago,
And meeting friends became a luxury.

However,
The disaster is also the thing that made us all equal,
No matter what schools you went to,
Everybody was going to “online school,”
No matter where you went for vacation,
All you can travel now is to your own kitchen.

Ironically,
The most terrible unfortunate in history,
Was also the thing that united us all.
It is the perfect time for us to all hold hands,
And walk through the storm,
together.

Linda S.Z
7th – 12th grade Slam Poetry Workshop

The Great Subway Adventure!

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Introduction

The following is a Choose Your Own Adventure story written by the participants of the Badgerdog Summer Camp’s Interactive Fiction Workshop (Session B). This story was written collaboratively by Aanya Palan, Boone Elliott, Elizabeth Alpatova, Elsa Hung, Evan Kim, Max Mariani, Ninaad Arjun, and Peter Worrall.

At the end of Part One, click on the link to follow your story! (Note: You will be redirected to a Google Doc full of more choices and adventure.)

 

The Great Subway Adventure: Part One

It had just stopped raining (like an hour ago), and the sun had made its way back out from the clouds. You feel the steam coming up from the pavement, and off the grass and trees of the Capitol. The air itself is heavy and sticking to your skin. You feel the sweat rising up to meet it. It’s almost like swimming, you think, but not as fun. You wish you could go swimming—but the cast on your wrist. That makes it harder. 

You had to break your wrist in the summer. 

Good news, your mom had told you, you’ll be able to get the cast off just in time for school!

“Great!” you had said. And, …Great, you had thought as well, but with a different tone, your mom wouldn’t have been so pleased with. 

It was going to be a long summer. 

Your mom asks you to hold the handle of the stroller while she takes a picture of a particularly shiny grackle. 

Your mom ruffles her hand through your moppy hair. 

“Someone needs a haircut,” she smiles as she takes the stroller back, your baby sister giggles and bubbles spit from inside. 

“Hungry? Let’s get some lunch!”

You are hungry. And quietly excited. You’re at the Capitol building—which, as luck would have it, is very close to your favorite place for lunch. 

Subways!

And not just any Subways, the one two blocks down from the Capitol on Congress. 

They make the best meatball subs, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and ham sandwiches and even one time this cool kudzu sandwich! … and things that aren’t sandwiches, too! Like soups! And cookies! And chips… and you could talk about Subway forever if someone let you….

“How about that burrito place?”

Oh no!

“Or the noodle place?”

Oh no! 

“I know where you want to go.”

Your mom smiles, and you two walk, pushing the stroller toward Subways. 

***

You, your mom, and your baby sister enter your favorite Subways Sandwich restaurant. 

It smells like baking bread and turkey. The air is cool and dry after the hot humid outside. You feel almost cold, but in a good way—the sweat drying off your shirt and forehead. 

You look at the wall with the photos of the employee of the months—and as always—one picture is repeated again and again Timmy Bob James your favorite Sandwich Artist. Timmy Bob James has been working here forever.  Timmy Bob James knows exactly the right amounts of lettuce and honey mustard to put on your sandwich. Timmy Bob James never skips on the pickles either. 

And there is Timmy Bob James behind the counter, in his stiff Subway shirt, apron, and chefs hat. 

“Well, we haven’t seen you for a minute! You want your usual order?” Timmy Bob James asks your mom. 

“How have you been?’ asks your mom, “Is your mom still doing good?”

“She’s doing great,” he replies. 

But at that moment, something weird happens…

The glass front door opens and slams shut! The lights go real weird and blue — and then a tile in the ceiling you never noticed before pops open like a door.

And out drops something that looks like a very real bomb! But not like real-real, like one out of an old cartoon or video game. Round and black with a wiggly burning fuse. 

Timmy Bob James yells, “Get down!” and you do.

There is a loud bang, and the room fills with weird green smoke. And the smell of bread and turkey turns funkier…

Like straw and musk and…

It smells more like the zoo than your favorite sandwich restaurant. 

The foggy smoke clears a little, and you look around.

The room is full of eggs. Like a lot of eggs. Eggs of every color and size. But not like easter eggs. Not painted. Just lots. And different.

And—

Beyond the eggs—you are alone.

Where did your mom and sister go?

Where is your favorite Sandwich Artist?

You notice the trap door on the ceiling again, it would be just big enough to crawl through—and reach if you stood on one of the tall backed stools by the wall. 

Also though,

The door to the “Employees Only” area is cracked open too. 

You think you should probably go through one of those doors. 

You pull over the stool to climb up through the trap door.

You go through the door to the Employees Only Area. 

Badgerdog Book Crush: Cryptic Cryptids

The Cryptic Cryptids Book Crush summer campers loved debating books and writing about creatures that may or may not exist. While we didn’t reach a consensus on the existence of Bigfoot, we certainly had fun playing Jeopardy-style trivia based on the book.

During the three-week workshop, we explored characters, setting, plot, tension, and other writing elements using the novel Uncertain Summer by Austin author Jessica Lee Anderson.

A highlight of the workshop was a visit from Jessica Lee Anderson who talked about how she became a writer.

Picture1

Everyone had a chance to ask Jessica questions and gain insight into her writing process.
She also shared research she did for the book, including this map of Bigfoot sightings in Texas.

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In addition to writing exercises, the Cryptic Cryptids stretched their creativity off the page by creating projects based on Uncertain Summer.

Advik programmed each of the main characters in Minecraft and recreated scenes from the book.

Minecraft1

Minecraft2

 

Valerie created a diorama including several scenes from the book.

 

Adheesh illustrated nine different scenes from the book and drew a map of Caddo Lake State Park.

Drawing

 

Vishnu created a diorama of the first time Everdil sees Bigfoot, when she’s in a boat on Caddo Lake for her birthday. She tries to take a picture of the creature, but it doesn’t turn out.

 

Saisha used a different perspective to illustrate the same scene.

Drawing2

 

Caroline created many elements from the book in origami.

 

Ishaan drew scenes of Everdil and Shawna being chased by the wild boar.

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And when Emmett thinks he is bitten by a copperhead snake, but it turns out to be a stick that cut his leg.

boar2

 

Ari created a sculpture of the Bigfoot costume stuffed with slaughtered animals that fooled a few folks into thinking they’d shot the creature. 

Monster

All Write: Circles of Community Online II

Introduction

Over the past few months, we have entered a new realm of normal filled with many challenges. This blog post serves to honor those young writers who have risen to the challenge of staying healthy at home while also staying creative at home and inspiring at home—and, yes, courageous at home as they traveled through their imaginations, inventing new worlds and novel ideas about our world.

These young writers shared their work with one another, but they also shared their laughter, their smiles, their virtual backgrounds, and their hopes for the future. Their voices echoed across the Wi-Fi and broadband cables—and here is where the magic really happened. These young writers transformed the square of a screen into a circle of community. They now invite you into that circle to join in a celebration of all things.

The pieces below prove that despite storms rumbling heavy above us, there is a deep joy ringing underneath. Welcome to that joy.

Kate Kelly
Programs Manager
The Library Foundation

 

Ashes

The people asked for their fauna back
but it was too late.

The people asked for their stars and moon back
but it was too late.

The people asked for their mountains back
but it was too late.

Everything that they heard of in their histories
—small feathered animals chirping,
colossal forking structures with green needles jutting from their branches,
huge forms of rock that pierced the sky,
and glimmering bright points in the night—
are words and distant memories of smoke and dust.

A barren mother of ghosts.

Ari Firsching

 

My Tree

William's Tree

I am a beautiful tree. A good tree
Not a
GOOD
GOOD tree just a normal good tree

I seek low I see high to see high to
see the forests right behind
I am a beautiful tree.           Tree

I am smart I am braveTree
I am good
hearted
Good
Good
Hearted
I am a
beautiful
tree.

I am
loving,
good for
play
-ing. Not
like so
good but
good
Just good.
I am a beautiful tree.

I am a unique, beautiful, caring,
Friend, silly, fun tree.

William Kim

William Kim

 

Pandemic Pantoum

There are fewer cars on the road
I notice the beautiful flowers more
We ride our bikes more often
I notice more smells than before

I notice the beautiful flowers more
It’s getting hotter out
I notice more smells than before
I am getting more cuts and bruises

It’s getting hotter out
The sink is getting worn out because we are at home more now
I am getting more cuts and bruises
I notice less trash on the street

The sink is getting worn out because we are at home more now
We ride our bikes more often
I notice less trash on the street
There are fewer cars on the road

Stella Mendoza

 

The Invisible Thing That Connects Us
—a blind collaborative poem

And the birds barked and the dogs sang,
The hermit crabs shift shells behind my back, growing up so fast.
And then the typewriter spoke to me!
I would say “magnanimous” and you would say it too.
You could make this place beautiful.
It amazes me that people keep being born—
that we welcome and say goodbye so often.
I don’t understand…
A rose-studded rainfall of regret.
The zoom box is the techno proscenium; shared time but in virtual space—
An empty chest, filled with green leaves.
Welcome, catastrophists, anxious strivers, and know-it-alls.
And we knew, dancing starless and untethered like this,
the seaweed pulling at our wet legs.
But, of course, she drank the fetid brew.
Whose onion is this? My mistake, it looked familiar.
Imagine the germs hiding in the bowling ball,
Tell the myth I pivot and claim as my own.
The night hangs like a pregnant pause,
I wandered away for awhile.
Glowing red eyes stared through the window:
Promise.
When it’s time to meet the sky again, I promise to kiss the earth.
The fear of slipping like a door that closes but never locks.

The 2020 Badgerdog Summer Camp Teaching Artists

All Write: Circles of Community Online I

Introduction

Over the past few weeks, we have entered a new realm of normal filled with many challenges. This blog post serves to honor those young writers who have risen to the challenge of staying healthy at home while also staying creative at home and inspiring at home—and, yes, courageous at home as they traveled through their imaginations, inventing new worlds and novel ideas about our world.

During the weeks of March 23-April 3, 2020, hundreds of young writers gathered in small workshop groups to read, write, and share what they were creating on the page. Despite the restrictions of working online, these writers remained fearless in their commitment to creation. They wrote poems, short stories, and interpretations of strange symbols! They painted watercolor with language! They wrote odes to their dogs! The dove deep into dreams! They made friends with merpeople! They transported fairytales into reality! They wrote lyrically and declared—here’s where I’m from!

These young writers shared their work with one another, but they also shared their laughter, their smiles, their virtual backgrounds, and their hopes for the future. Their voices echoed across the Wi-Fi and broadband cables—and here is where the magic really happened. These young writers transformed the square of a screen into a circle of community. They now invite you into that circle to join in a celebration of all things.

The pieces below prove that despite storms rumbling heavy above us, there is a deep joy ringing underneath. Welcome to that joy.

Kate Kelly
Programs Manager
The Library Foundation

 

I am From

I am from red and white diner booths in my homey kitchen, from cats dozing on the couch, and a cabinet full of fragile teacups.
I am from the small, cozy cottage of a sort of watered-down green color.
I am from a city that has bright blue skies and barely ever snows. I
am from the rosemary and chives that line my stone sidewalk, and the beautiful trees swaying all around.
I am from an amazing neighborhood in which all of your neighbors know you and always say hello when you pass by.
I am from the shouts and praises of the nearby people spectating soccer matches, and from the burnt orange flags lined up neatly next to the Texas ones at the basketball stadium.
I am from a hot summer sun beating down on my back, and cold watermelon slushies that my family and I make every year.
I am from my church family singing and laughing while we swim and kayak on the Frio River.
I am from lots of playdates and family gatherings, but most of all, I am from the smiles of all of the people that care and love me.

Ruby Airhart
5th + 6th grade Workshop

 

The Ways of Basketball

Hands up, bottom down,
Hear the squeaky shoes all around.
Eyes focused on the dribbling opponent,
Defense, defense you’ve got to own it.

Fast paced pounding down the court,
Running sprints, this is my kind of sport.
Zinging the ball left and right,
We can do this, we can fight.

Ruby Airhart
5th + 6th grade Workshop

 

Dr. Seussland

Snow clings to the trees,
Ice to the tall grass and leaves,
A new world is created as the sun winks off of the ice,
A land of Dr. Seuss trees,
A land of diamond Truffula trees.

Breath in the cold crisp air,
Winds wrap around children and run around with them,
They jump and skip,
Laugh and fall,
They desperately grab at the necks of children,
The wind just wants to be a part of the joy,
It just wants to run up and hug the child that is sitting in the snowdrift under the tall white trees.

The snow falls like so many unique skydivers,
Each flake its own little world of magic,
Each flake its own person,
This one, well, she is an energetic social butterfly,
A second is a bully knocking into every other flake disrupting their path to the crunching floor,
Another one an introvert trying to stay away from every other one,
A fourth one, he is just looking for a friend,
And a fifth who is just believing that the universe will bring her where she should go.

Each snow-covered cattail like a single mini whiteTruffula tree,
Each bent tree like the Cat in the Hat’s hat reaching down to tap you on the head,
And sometimes when the wind rustles through the trees a lump of snow does tap you on the head.

The waves of the lake crash against the cement walls,
Each wave a smaller kid being crashed in the lockers by a bully,
Each wave the bass drummer just wanting to be heard in the marching band,
Each wave bringing a frothy white cloud,
And when you look around you are surrounded by the genius of Dr. Seuss and are welcomed into the magical wintery Dr. Seussland.

Conor McClellan
High School Workshop

 

Fall: poem and watercolor 

Bronson's poemThe laughing
trees
dressed up in their
extravagant
carnival clothes

their leaves
dance
dance
dance
about the earthy hues of the
branches
they are proud
flags
strung along the trees’
arms

as the festivities
commence
the fresh air
full
of the earth’s aroma
the smell of
h o m e

Bronson Wang
7th + 8th grade Workshop

 

Black and White

Black and White
Dark and Light
Sure to help you
See gray as a sight

Black marker on a paper
Fingers running across the keyboard
Pandas whisper like water vapor
And Yin and Yang where we are heading toward

Josephine Wang
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

Volcano

Red, hot, a fiery sea
Eating the grass, and all it sees
It screams out loud and ashes up the air
It bursts and pounds just to scare

But sometimes it’s nice, even if it is hard to believe
It doesn’t erupt or perish, just somewhere in between
It is sleeping, it is resting from the anger it shows
But again, one day it will scream and throw

Josephine Wang
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

The Mountain Girl

The mountain tells us when bandits are here
It shakes and rumbles when trouble is near
We pull out our mallets, our hammers, and our swords
And they see us as roses with our sharp needle thorns

Other times we are happy, working in the quarry
We smile and we laugh for nothing else is so merry
There is nothing we fear as long as our mountain is here
We are birds flying high in the sky

Even though lowlanders have more land
Even though we can never go to the beach to see sand
The mountain is our home
The only place to play and roam

Josephine Wang
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

This Way or That Way: an exploration of symbols

Arrows

The arrows represent everybody in the world. As you notice, all the arrows are different in colors, patterns, and sizes but they are still all arrows just like all humans are humans but not all humans are exactly the same. Even identical twins are not the exact same. The arrows are all pointing into different directions like people’s interests may vary or people might just have a totally different background than others.

Valerie Wang
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

If I Were in a Picture of Arrows

I am bold
She is yellow
He is blue
They are dotted
Her structure is quite full of lines
The unique one over there is dotted and lined

Why am I stuck here in a museum next to the useless brass
Why am I just sitting here in melancholy
Blankly pressing my rounded tip against the glass
Why are we even here if we don’t make the visitors any more jolly
This museum doesn’t take out the trash
So they are always leaving us to smell the horrifying stench
And you know what? They still pay their workers with cash
Outside our window there is a little bench
Where I always wish to be
I wonder if I will ever get out there,
To the world of wonders
It is always either this way or that way

Valerie Wang
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

Ode to Banjo

Banjo is a little bundle of joy,
But he is also loud.
He wakes everyone with his barks
Of the mighty West Highland White Terrier.
The dog has a little wet nose and tongue to kiss us with.
The mighty dog has a big look so we are scared of him.
But who would be scared of a little white puppy named Banjo?
The fuzzy little dog has a little fear over the fearless ant!

Lucas Xu
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

The Dream Catcher

Late at night, when almost
nothing is in sight, when your
eyelids flutter, when dreams
Are like a memory you’ve always
Known. When nightmares become visible,
When you seem to know nothing
But dreadful places or harmony.
When you know that your
Dream time is going out.
Your dream time going to
An end no one wants.
Your smile is a frown,
And your eyes squeeze shut
Even tighter and when you realize
That a dark shadow is hovering
Over you. The Dream Catcher
Itself it swoops down from above
And catches your miraculous
Dream with a laugh and a
Shout and possibly a cackle,
As it sashays
Away into another house—
Into another dream.
You’re wide awake now,
Eyes wide, mouth open
But the Dream Catcher is in its new
House. Dream Catcher sleeps
In your attic/basement
Curled up in a shadow,
Grinning to itself under
Your old shelf or your
Sister’s old toys. He curls in
A ball in a dark corner full of
Cobwebs, dust, and spider webs.
There the Dream Catcher is
In your very own basement,
Frowning and squeezing its
Eyes shut even tighter
And realizing that his time
In his miraculous dream is over,
When he realizes that a
Shadow is hovering over him,
When he hears a shrill cackle or a
Laugh from up above,
Then he sits up, eyes wide
Mouth open.

Angelica Xu
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

The Curious Mermaid

          —after Matthea Harvey’s “The Backyard Mermaid”

Adrianna was a curious mermaid. She realized that someone or something was up in another world up there, possibly the world her parents have been warning her about—Human World.

Human World is a terrible world where humans make fools of themselves.

She told her relatives and everyone that lived in the mermaid area, but they gawked at her or with a swat of a hand, replied, “Honey, all this-nonsense! Maybe the talks you’ve been in have addled your brain, dear. You need a hobby. You know that?”

Then they would swim away or turn their eyes back to the magazine they’d been reading or turn their backs and continue the chat they had going on. Adrianna didn’t care one bit, for she would swim away with a sway.

One day she’d had enough—not of the excitement on the surface—but enough of the swatting hands and the ignorance people have been giving her. She swam up to the surface persistently and knocked hard on the surface, over the noise of girls giggling and laughing and jumping.

Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock!

Adrianna’s knocking startled the girls and everything went quiet up above.

You could hear a pin drop. Adrianna knew it! Things were up there.

“What the heck is down there? A witch?! I am so scared! Ha, Ha!! Right girls??”

A harsh sound of flip-flops echoed throughout the deck. “Girls? everything okay? You’re so quiet!! Avery has never had a quieter birthday party. Oh-a-ha!!”

“Mom!!!! Ugh!! Stop now!! I have had a quieter party!” the girl named Avery said.

For some reason, I broke the surface and hid my tail swiftly.

“What the heck?!” the girl who asked the same question earlier, Darby, says.

“What is this creature?! Definitely not human. We don’t swim underneath the pool. If you are human, I’m asking, how did you get down here?”

Ugh. I hope it’s clear enough for her to see that I’m a mermaid. Though, truth be told, I never intended to show her my delicate appearances. Adrianna thought to herself.

Adrianna never needed to hide her appearance, well, mostly because she’d never faced the challenge of humans before. But she hid her tail under a seeking turtle, which very un-helpfully swam away to reveal the appearance of a tail.

“OMG!! She is a-a-a mermaid!!! Really, you guys, come look, guys!! She has a tail!!”

“Ugh, she has a tail, big deal. Who cares? Come on, guys. I’ve got a new collection of toys to show you.”

Adrianna clabbered her way down. Unfortunately clabbering down cannot be done unless you stick your tail up in the air, about just in human eyesight.

Adrianna disappeared in a broad vail of seaweed coral, along with fish. She didn’t want to end up like in those stories Pa told her: a little girl gets put in a net by humans, they took her life because they wanted her tail. She was a mermaid, and this rumor is very famous according to mermaid folk.

A bird named Cannadrien, Avery’s pet, swoops down from the nest above and plucks out some of Adrianna’s wet hair.

And from that day on, whenever Adrianna peeks at Human World, Cannadrien swoops down from her nest to examine Adrianna and her hair, possessions, and items.

Angelica Xu
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

Good Morning!

Once when I got out of bed
My head was very red.
“I don’t know why” I said.
So I got out on the floor
Then walked and closed the door. Then
I walked on my feet
I was ready to eat.
I was gonna get some food
Cause I was really in the mood.
I pulled some cake
But It was fake, and it was gonna take a while to make.
So I got some tea
It was right for me.
Then I had some pea porridge that was 500 years old—
It was very very cold. Then I turned on the light
It was very very bright
Like a bright bright flight.
Then I watched my TV.
I found a show that’s right for me.
It was about a bear, and he had long hair
But I didn’t care. It was about bears.
But who cares?
I flipped the channel to see a car driving near
A tree. It was a documentary. They had a car and it was at night under a big bright star.
My TV was very fun
And now I’m done!

Nolan Benestante
High School Workshop

 

Clean That Room!

If I didn’t clean my room
It would be such a mess.
My stuff would block my dresser,
so I could not dress!!!

My toys would pile up on my bed,
so I could not sleep,
And to get to my bookshelf,
I would have to leap!!!

Then when I opened the door,
my stuff would come out.
Into the hallway through the house,
then my family would start to pout!!!

Out the door,
onto the street.
Aren’t you glad you kept your room neat??

Calla Snyder
3rd + 4th grade Workshop

 

The Photographer

Everyone has a story. Whether it’s about mermaids or dinosaurs. Elephants or zebras. Well, you get the point. My story though is fiction. You’d think at least.

“Sarah! Wake up it’s your first photoshoot!” my mom hollers.I’m already up, but I give her some slack anyway. To be honest, I don’t want to do this photoshoot. But, my mom is really looking forward to this so I guess I’ll try. My family has a reputation for photography, and I don’t want to let them down.

“Coming!” I yell back.

I see my dad and mom sitting at the table waiting for me.

“Hungry?” my dad asks.

“No. I already ate an hour ago before you were up.” I answer. He nods back and my mom smiles.

“Oh, my baby is all grown up!” she squeals as she squeezes me tight.

“Let’s just go. We don’t want to be late.” I say.

About half an hour later we arrived at a beach.

“A beach?”

“Your clients wanted their photograph in the ocean because it makes it easier for them,” my mom smiles.

“We packed a swimsuit in the trunk if you’d like,” my dad says as he rubs my back.

“This is not what I expected,” I mutter to myself and carry the swimsuit from the trunk before walking toward the public bathroom.

I take my shoes off and dig my feet in the grindy sand. The warm sand takes over my cold feet, and I feel wind blow my short dirty blond hair in my face. I walk into the water. I think my camera is waterproof, but I don’t overthink it. My red bathing suit with white polka dots gets soaked and a cold shiver runs through me.

I’m in shock. I must be seeing things, but I see mermaids with tools instead of tails. Tool Mermaids. Of course. They’re known for attacking tourists at the beach and fisherman. They tell us that for some reason Tool Mermaids have a tradition of getting their picture taken once they turn eighteen. I do my best to proceed with the process just as I’d do if I was doing this with a human.

The lady has a saw for her tail, her hair up in a ponytail, and some hair next to her face.

After the photoshoot my mom and dad help me edit the pictures, and we have a nice lunch together as a family. Like I said, my story seems fiction. But that’s up to you to decide.

Autumn Wallace
5th + 6th grade Workshop

 

All Around Me

I see a tree elegantly swinging its leaves in the motion of the wind with a lilac-colored purple flower that seems to have bloomed in the early Spring in the shape of grapes.

I see my dog Levi chasing after a dog toy that looks almost like a football with his ears flapping in the wind.

To the right of me, I see my younger brother trying to scrape the leaves out of the pool, making the job more difficult and rougher than it already is.

I see little bubblers in the pool causing ruffles ruffling across the shore of the pool.

I see that now my brother has put his hands behind his back, making Levi sit and making weird, funny, and stern faces at Levi.

In the pool, I see a white black and blue cleaning machine we call Shark Dog cleaning the surface and sides of the pool.

To the left of me, I see an oak tree growing a bright green moss and dropping saplings that will soon also be oak trees.

In the distance, I can see foggy wide hills flooded with trees, lights, and houses. Even further on the second hill, the sky looks slanted and the top of the hill is touching the sky.

Next door, I can see our neighbor’s back yard with bright green oak trees and some flowers.  There are also bird feeders hanging from the trees and beautiful flowers blooming in every color.

I see swings on the playground still swinging from whoever was last on them, giving the effect as if someone is on them.

Autumn Wallace
5th + 6th grade Workshop

Writing as a Portal: Barbara Jordan Elementary’s Young Authors

Introduction


Over the last four weeks, some of Barbara Jordan Elementary School’s most creative writers have been bravely expanding their imaginative horizons. Their challenge? To make the familiar world seem completely new and beautiful, or to bring a totally unfamiliar world vividly to life. Through a series of writing exercises, they’ve embraced this creative mission and produced some wonderfully wacky, musical, and spine-tinglingly creepy poems and stories.

These writers, for instance, have studied metaphor, and suddenly that thing perched atop the lamp in the classroom became not a lampshade but a soup bowl. The sound of rain became a knock on the door or fingers tapping. They’ve studied alliteration and repetition, and everything from pets to chips to video games came alive with poetic possibilities. And they’ve read descriptions of amazing islands (both real and imaginary) and pushed themselves to invent magical worlds of their own. Prepare yourself for friendly and human-like animals, teleportation scissors, underwater castles, a chocolate pool, and a well-dressed skeleton with a bottle of ketchup.

So dive in and experience the work of these up-and-coming young writers with fearless imaginations!

Noah Weisz
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

 

How It Sounds

When it rains it sounds like
water and underwater and
someone knocking.

The river sounds like
it’s about to rain
and when it rains hard
it sounds like a storm.

Kimberly Puertas

 

Creative Writing

I did a backflip.

I do hip-hop.

I got a makeup kit.

I love chips.

I did a backflip, I do hip-hop.
I got a makeup kit. I love
chips.

Madison Rogers

 

Roblox

Roblox
jump
tap
click
brum
dum
zzzzzz
shshsh

Andrea Cordova

 

La Lluvia

lluvia
se escucha como
los sonidos de la boca
como    sss   ssss
sss      ss
ss     y
tambien
se escucha como los
dedos pegan suavamente

A. C.

 

My Island

My island is in the sky on the clouds. It’s pink with burgers that have long legs and trolls that have tattoos and the forest. The forest, it’s the screamer forest! Anyone that dared to go here came. There’s thick fog and mud, rats, ravens, and the eye.

You’re probably wondering, What is this eye? The eye can see the future and then disappears in the fog. It doesn’t say anything, it just blinks and looks at you.

But back on the pink clouds 😊 it’s like the normal world just on clouds but magic, dark magic, helpful magic, wizards, fairies. Somehow there is water that floats. Dimensional scissors teleport to a new dimension. That is all I know from this place, but I’ll keep looking.

Edgar Jimenez-Urbano

 

Games

Click
Roblox
Click
Fortnite
Click
Minecraft
Click
Pix
Click
Ninja Legends
Click
Call of Duty

Malachi Fruge

 

The Island

It was a sunny Sunday, and I landed on an island called Green Hill. And there are animals that talk. They stand on two feet. And they wear clothes.

E. A.

 

What Does a Cat Do?

meow cat
sleep growl milk
cat sleep meow
whiskers growl meow
growl sleep milk

U. C. O.

 

Comparing the Real World and an Island

When I landed on the island it was half-day and half-night. People and animals. Everything from the real world that was big on the island was small, and everything from the real world that was small on the island was big.

It was an island that was very nice. The animals were very friendly. And everything was cool. There was a portal.

Ximena Segura

 

The Mysterious Island

When I arrived I saw the island that was never seen and rare…So when I saw it, it was full of trees and fog, blood was on the trees and ground…I saw some people but they were wearing hoodies full of blood standing still…The animals had red eyes with sharp claws…It was raining…When I looked back my ship was gone…I didn’t know what to do, the animals and people got closer when I wasn’t looking.

I forgot to mention that it sounds like claws scraping a metal wall…and it smells like blood.  So I ran and ran…I tripped and fell in a hole…I noticed that there were talking skeletons, one was wearing a blue jacket and he was wearing sandals and he had a bottle of ketchup in his hand…

E. F.

 

Fairy World

My fairy world is colorful with pink, purple, and blue. It has rainbows everywhere. My world has colorful cupcakes with toppings like sprinkles, strawberries, chocolate, and candy. There’s an awesome candy sparkle cake. My friend Strawberry says that her house is made of sparkles and candy. I have gone to her house very often. I love the chocolate pool. There’s a spa. There’s a candy chair. There’s a fruit with chocolate in it. There’s a beautiful pancake restaurant. The pancakes are very yummy. They have chocolate and strawberries. I love the chocolate pool. I go there very often. Sometimes I eat the chocolate.

My friend Strawberry and I go to the pancake restaurant. She orders the fruit/chocolate pancakes. I order the chocolate pancakes. That’s all for now!

Jessica Escobar

 

Mermaid World

When I got to Mermaid World, I was surprised by seeing a lot of mermaids. They lived in a castle in the middle of the ocean. They could swim fast like a fish when it’s scared. The mermaids had a tail so sparkly and pretty. All the mermaids were having fun swimming and playing with the ball.

N. R.

 

What Does the Dog Do?

bark
crying
dog
sleep super cute
growl growling
playing with siblings

B. R. R.

Shining & Glowing: Wooten Elementary’s ACE Program

The ACE after-school program at Wooten Elementary was filled with energetic young writers. Their vivid imaginations led the way to writing hypothetical conversations with all different types of animals including crocodiles and whales. Willy asked a crocodile, “How old are you?” and the crocodile answered, quite matter of fact, “Old enough to be your dad.” Andrew wondered aloud to a whale, “Where were you born?” and the whale surprised him when he claimed, “I was born in outer space.” These students’ sense of humor shone through in their tales. Adam’s “Biggest Dog” drank the Mississippi River and when he was done with that drank the Colorado River! Their characters were healthy like José Saldana’s Bigfoot who ate vegetables and exclaimed, “That’s why I am tall.” They were helpful like José Hernandez’s “Mr. Trashcan” who helped people pick up their trash. They were intriguing like Janie’s character who pushed the air that made “all of the stars shine and glow.” They were green and menacing like Jacob’s villain “Greedy Grack.” Get ready to laugh and be entertained by their excellent sense of rhythm and rhyme. The future is in the capable hands of these young writers like Ely who share “It was great, that I didn’t hate, I was hot, writing on a plot.” Follow their clues and see where their imaginations take you!

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

 

 

Cutting Grass

grass

I am a guy with a mask.
I have a knife for cutting grass.
Everybody needs to cut the grass.
Now the grass looks brown because
of the sand that comes from the ground.
I will read a book about strange things on the grass.
Even if someone tells me to get a drink, I will pass.

Isaac Govea

 

Biggest Dog

big dog

There was a day at school called, “Bring Your Dog to School Day.”
My friend brought his dog. He had a dog bigger than the Twin Towers!
The dog could never get in the school.
Every time he walked he shook the ground and you would jump up and down.
Every time he walked it was so scary. His water was the Mississippi River.
If he finished, he would drink the Colorado River.
His food was 50,000,000,000-pound dog food bags.
And his name was Tiny.
He had hazel brown soft fur and brown eyes. He had soft claws.
And he was 10 years old, but in human years he is 70 years old.

Adam Perez

 

A Journey

bike kids.jpg

America is going on a journey to the forest on a bicycle with me. We were in a hurry because we had a club meeting and we were late. While we were on our way we saw a bad, creepy person. When we turned around and looked at him, he had red eyes and a black hoodie. We pedaled as fast as we could. He caught up to us, but he couldn’t catch us. We hid in a tree and he ran right past us. After that, we arrived safely to the clubhouse. We were glad we got there safe and sound, but we didn’t get to eat anything. There were Cheetos there and we were like, yesss!

Heidi Rodriguez

 

Mr. Crocodile

Crocodile

Mr. Crocodile, where do you live?
     At the lake.

Mr. Crocodile, what is the biggest thing you’ve eaten?
         A hippo.

Mr. Crocodile, how old are you?
       Old enough to be your dad.

Willy Aparicio

 

Greedy Grack

 

greedy grack.png

First, my name is Max. I had pancakes for breakfast. When I went to school I was about to hop on the bus and then someone green robbed me! His name was Greedy Grack the news said.

Then, he took me to his base for three days. My mom hadn’t seen me, so she called the police. Then, Superman flew there! She heard he was a superhero.

Finally, one day Superman found Greedy Grack’s base. They fought until I was freed by Superman. The police came and arrested the bad guy. My mom got to see me again. So now, she only drives me to school so I can be safe.

Jacob Tinoco

 

Tiger

Tiger

Tiger, why do you live in Africa?
            Because it’s beautiful.

Tiger, why do you have stripes?
            Because, God.

Tiger, why do you have a tail?
     Because I was born with it.

Tiger, how did you get sharp teeth?
         Because I sharpened them with a rock.

Tiger, did that hurt?
           Just a little.

Christopher Morales Leyva

 

Rhyme, Rhyme, and Only Rhyme

 

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 2.52.07 PM.png

One day I went to a pool.
I didn’t come back until I got cool!
I went to a shore.
Then I went to explore!

It was so great.
That I didn’t hate.
I was hot.
Writing on a plot.

There was a gate.
But it was so freight.
I went to a dock.
I saw some birds flock.

Ely Hernandez

 

Mr. Whale

Whale

Mr. Whale, where do you live? Where can I find you?
            I live in the ocean with my friends.

Mr. Whale, where were you born?
            I was born in outer space.

Mr. Whale, what have you been eating in the ocean with your friends?
      I have been eating EVERYTHING with my friends.

Mr. Whale, how does it feel to be a whale?
       It feels fun living in the ocean with my friends and eating a lot of fish.

Mr. Whale, what is your biggest secret?
        I am so scared of sharks.

Andrew Castillo

 

TurtleTurtle

Turtle, do you rest?
        No.

Turtle, what lives in your tummy?
      I don’t know, I just like it.

Turtle, can I eat you?
         Just kidding!

Sebastian Govea

 

Elephant Brain

alien

One day, an alien took me to his space ship and he took me to Mars. He gave me alien food and it was brain and my drink was blood. They forced me to eat it or I would live in Mars with nothing.

So I ate it and it was like sheep’s blood and the brain was elephant’s brain. It felt so slushy and it was so nasty. It tasted like road. There were bones in the brain; there were eyeballs in the blood. My dessert was an arm with bones and blood everywhere. I hate blood, but I ate the arm and bones. It turned me into an alien.

Arturo

 

Familyfamily heart

 

My biggest fear is to lose my family and losing my mom.
My family and mom are so important to me.
I could never live without them.
They are my everything.
I love my mom and my family.

Miranda Gamez

 

Bigfoot Secrets

Bigfoot

Bigfoot, why are you hairy?
            To camouflage with the trees.

Bigfoot, why are you mean to people?
         They killed my family in a war.

Bigfoot, what do you eat?
          Vegetables, that’s why I am tall.

Bigfoot, what do you drink?
     I drink apple fruit juice.
            I am on a diet to be strong.

Bigfoot, what’s your biggest secret?
  I kick people to get revenge.

Bigfoot, where do you live?
          In the forest.

Bigfoot, why do you have red eyes?
Because I am looking
            at you.

José Saldaña

 

Mr. TrashcanCartoon-Trash-Can-N2

 

Mr. Trashcan,
Go pick up the trash!
She called, Mr.
Trashcan.

Mr. Trashcan
Has a girl
Friend and she
Loves him so much.
Her name is Ashley.

Mr. Trashcan
Helps the people
Pick up the
Trash.

José Hernandez

 

A Different Life

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 2.28.09 PM

I wish I had a car
Or went to Mars.
I wish people
Could go to space,
A different life at least
Another comet set.

Do you double as
A paper maker?
I despise you sometimes.
I love to hate and fight you
In my coat pocket,
Like sippin’ on straight chlorine.

Damian Ulloa

 

Shine and Glow

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 2.32.42 PM.png

I’ve never listened to you before,
because all your words I choose to ignore.
You say that you’re a weird cat,
one that’s always wearing a hat.
You may not like light,
and I think that’s alright.
There is always a dog
wandering in the winter fog.
And finally, you push the air that
you blow,
and make all of the stars
shine and glow.

Janie Balderas

 

The Breadth of Life

On four warm fall Fridays, this group of writers created and laughed together at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church for Memory Connections. During the first session, they wrote poems about places, and I started to glimpse the breadth of life experience in the room. There were poems about San Francisco, Brooklyn, Lafayette, and towns and cities in between. I felt so lucky that we had all ended up in a church in Westlake Hills, reading, writing and sharing together. Each week, the writers shaped words into startling images, interesting observations, and even witty punchlines. There was a lot of laughter, interspersed with profound insights. This group didn’t take themselves too seriously, and they embraced the present moment without fear. These are the conditions where creativity and joy flow.

Jenny Fleming
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

 

The Best Surprise

A few years ago, I visited my son when he lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was my birthday and my son had a concert to conduct in the evening. He loves to embarrass me or surprise me. Just before the intermission, he went to the microphone and announced to all that it was my birthday. Coming down the aisle were three of my son’s orchestra members, giving me flowers and playing “Happy Birthday” on their instruments. They whole audience looked at me, clapped, and joined in on the song. I was both embarrassed and shy. But now, as I think back, I occasionally thank him for that special moment.

Betty

 

All is Good

My dog comes over as I watch TV.
She looks at me and wags her tail.
All is good with the world.

Ted

 

Bluebonnets

Growing up in Waco, Texas, my parents would always drive out to the country during bluebonnet season. One of my favorite pictures was on my father took of my mother, my sister and I by the side of a road surrounded by bluebonnets. I guess I was around five and my sister around eight.
Fast forward sixty-plus years. On retirement, I was pushing for Austin, but my wife was skeptical. She did not know of the beauty of the Hill Country. It was an “easy sell.” We always encourage our Illinois friends to visit during the bluebonnet season, and we give guided tours. Without exception, everyone has been impressed.

Boyd Spencer

 

Lake Jackson

Lake Jackson is a small town
Created in the late forties and early fifties,
close to the Gulf Coast,
surrounded by chemical plants,
full of giant trees, green grass, humidity and hope.

I lived there until I was fifteen years old.
I would love to see it now.
It was a new town with lots of people moving in
to run the chemical plants and supporting businesses.

Everybody knew everybody
and all their kids
and a lot of their business.

One of the saddest times of my life
was when my dad was transferred to Houston.
It was devastating and
turned out to be another happy adventure.
There’s a moral to this story.

Carol L. Adams

 

Orchid

I see its arms.
I see it standing there in a proud place
with a special shine.

Robert S. Monroe

 

Flowers from Mike

He came home with flowers
in his hands every Friday.
White, yellow, red, pink with
sprinkles of green leaves and baby’s breath.
Why? Because it was important
to have beautiful flowers to
show his love.

He would plant flowers outside
in the front of our house and
in the back so they could be viewed
from all the back windows.
All three of our children
continue the practice with
their families. Flowers,
beautiful, love.

Patsy

Everything is Connected

What a strong community with a welcoming vibe at Hope Lutheran Church’s Memory Connections! Most importantly, this group had a great sense of humor. This group of gifted writers and poets live big lives but can also think deeply. Even when asked to write about something as simple as a flower, they knew that everything is connected in this world, and they weren’t afraid to show it. Their graciousness was delightful, and not only was everyone always eager to share their writing, they were delicate listeners too—you can tell by their haikus.

Mendy Holliday
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

 

I Didn’t See

I didn’t see the tadpoles in the bucket
But I did see the tiny frogs clutching the metal edge.
Two of them, and when startled, they dived
Like lightening to the bottom to hide.

Rebecca Lowe

 

Those Old Dance Halls

Going to those old dance halls around my hometown Texas was the highlight of my week. I would go every Friday and Saturday night with family, later with boyfriends, then my husband.  I could see all my friends, hear the latest gossip, the good old country music. These old dance halls didn’t have air- conditioning just a lot of windows. So sweaty after dancing awhile. How did we ever do it? These are the best memories of my life. We go to this reunion dance once a year to hear 3 bands from the 70’s. It’s the nearest I come to recreating those old memories, dancing cheek to cheek. Now most of the old dance halls I went to are shuttered, which makes me sad.

Joyce Beversdorff

 

Happy/Sad

Flowers can be part of life in its happy moments or events,
but flowers can be part of sad moments.
I learned early that a bride carries a bouquet,
and flowers are set upon a grave.
My dad died when I was six years old.
I use the phrase happy/sad with my family who understands
that flowers are associated with the happy and the sad moments in one’s life.

Elizabeth Caldwell

 

Summer Heat & the Birds

Summer heat and the birds
feeding off the sunflower seeds.
Hot weather and warm breezes
linked to the changing seasons.
A container of sunshine
with the birds feeding and flying
to and from the station
where sunflower seeds are a valuable.
The changing seasons
as heat moves away
from the warm breezes
and the awareness of the air’s movement
and the possibilities of cooler days.
Pleasant days and anticipation
that all is ok.

Larry Graham

 

The Air of the City

San Francisco was a gorgeous town when I lived there. The many hills of the city went up and down. The air of this city was so wonderful and crisp, always washed clean by the Pacific Ocean. People who lived there knew they could always find good food to eat, no matter which part of the city. The best trip was to get on the bus to go out to sit on the sand at the ocean.

Pat Keen

 

First Glimpse of Ithaca

The first glimpse of Ithaca burst into view. The Little Apple that I had heard so much about rose above the sparkling water of Cayuga Lake glimmering in the sunshine. I could see why the bumper sticker on the car ahead of me said: Ithaca is gorges!

B.W.

 

Red, Pink, or Yellow Roses

Flowers connect beauty and sorrow in my life.
Joy for weddings, graduations, promotions, accomplishments.
Sorrow for funeral, deaths—
Sorrowful blue lavender, black and purple,
Joyful red orange coral, roses, daisies, sunflowers.
I connect flowers with the death of my grandmother who was such a
dear sweet joyful helping person. She always saw the best in people.
Flowers that remind me of her are red, pink, or yellow roses.

Anonymous

 

The Bond Between Us

My wife is the curator
of flowers at our house.
I love seeing the tiny white flowers
on our kumquat bush
and the kumquatinis (kumquat martinis)
they engender.
We also have lilies and daffodils
behind the swimming pool.
I love the tiny flowers
that come on the Dwarf Barbados Cherry
and the Meyer Lemon.
They symbolize the bond between us.

Jim Hadden